Live blog: Senate Media Reform Bills inquiry

Live blog: Senate Media Reform Bills inquiry
SHARE
THIS



Parliamentary joint committee into the media reform laws are taking place this morning and a separate Senate Committee will take place this afternoon. You may need to refresh your browser to see the latest posts by hitting f5.

3.05pm . . . and that's probably the end of any sensible debate to emanate from parliament with name calling to be the order of the day. So in summary, we have seen a lively day in Canberra. We have had Australia's media bosses descend on Canberra to argue passionately for and against the relaxation of the 65% reach rule depending on what they stand to gain or lose.

Austereo's Rhys Halloran and Nine Entertainment Co David Gyngell say that a relaxation of the rule is imperative. Channel Ten's Hamish McLennan on his first day in the job says it will be a disaster for more than just his new charge if the law  is to go ahead. Kerry Stokes said he thought the reach rule should be lifted, but that not now and not in the manner it has been proposed here.

Perhaps one of the more interesting areas of debate was the worth of FreeTV Australia, when its member organisations all agreed to the lifting of the 75% rule, yet now many of them are railing against it.

3.02pm Not surprisingly, the Government  has taken it badly with Leader of the House Anthony Albanese lamblasting Turnbull saying that the Opposition only took "two words" to be against the media law reforms: "public interest". 

2.55pm Switch to Parliament and Malcolm Turnball is letting fly with his opinions about the media laws. He has labelled the Public Interest Media Advocate (PIMA) as the Political Interest Media Advocate. He says that if the PIMA is passed in legislation, the Coalition would repeal it if it were elected to power.

1.08pm New changes to the ABC Charter would open up a loop hole allowing advertising on ABC's online platforms. However, the ABC says that it currently has no restrictions to anything other than broadcasting and it is a policy decision of the ABC board to extend a ban on all advertising on all ABC platforms except for magazines and the ABC shop. So essentially a storm in a teacup.

12.46pm The Australia Network (ABC-provided international network service) is one of the areas being changed by the proposed legislation whereby the ABC would be guaranteed the right to provide the international broadcast service without it ever going to tender. The ABC reps don't appear to have a problem with this.

12.45pm And he's out of time and SBS and the ABC is next up.

12.40pm Senator Doug Cameron asks Hywood about the press council's "lack of processes". Hywood says it's fair enough to ask the question, especially given the UK phone hacking council, but he says a government watch dog is a step too far.

12.35pm The Senators are having a barny between themselves over Hywood being asked why the rush with the legislation? He says it shouldn't be rushed.

12.32pm Hywood says media diversity in Australia has never been better and that anyone entering into journalism today would have a bright future.

12.30pm Fairfax CEO Greg Hywood is now addressing the Senate Committee into media reforms

12.21pm Stokes: "Do I want to take over Prime? No particularly, I think they do a good job."

12.17pm Stokes says a third player in regional news "will go broke" . . . and that "the bankers, out of the goodness of their hearts" will maintain higher cost models. "Undertakings are good until someone puts their hand up and says I'm out of money".

12.15pm Stokes says he has no issue with News Limited so long as he has a level playing field. What he does have an issue with is everyone having the same starting gun on the 75% rule change. He's implying Nine and Southern Cross Media ha prior knowledge of this current legislative process.

12.10pm Stokes says under questioning that he believes the ACCC would prevent News Limited buying Channel Ten.

12.07pm Stokes says in response to a Barnaby Joyce question that if he were in charge of the Nine Southern Cross merger he would have it done in a month after the 75% rule being lifted.

12.05pm Stokes says free TV should be free on the NBN for broadcaster and that's a matter of ongoing discussion.

12.01pm Good afternoon! Malcolm Turnbull asks Stokes whether removing the 75% reach rule would necessarily impact on local news? He points to Win and Prime doing lots of local news and Southern Cross doing very little. Stokes: no.

11.59am Stokes questions why a merged entity would need to give an undertaking. He says if Southern Cross (owned by Macquarie Bank) wanted to support local news they would have already done it.

11.58am Stokes is asked whether he thinks regional news is healthy and vibrant in Australia? The answer is colourful but basically means no.

11.56am Stokes says that the way this legislation has been presented is like there was a race and there are two starters on the blocks and the rest of us were unaware there was a race.

11.55am He says he has never seen bankers work for the benefits of the community, referring to Nine Entertainment Co's owners.

11.51am Kerry Stokes says that Seven West has had a long association with regional news and "we don't really care about the 75% rule". What is clear, he says, is that there has not been anywhere near enough debate about its removal and the implications. "There shouldn't be winners and losers from this debate."

11.47am And that's it for Nine. So the story is that Nine will protect regional news. Here's Channel Seven and Kerry Stokes; this ought to be interesting.

11.38am Gyngell makes another impassioned speech to the committee to understand that local news is a key commercial imperative and that Time Warner and Disney don't sell the digital rights to shows (on demand) as they see it as a way into the Australian market. If 10% of people start to watch shows over the Internet, it would take half of Nine's current profits. He says allowing Nine to have access to local news is about protecting themselves from the US invaders.

11.36am Barnaby Joyce takes Gyngell to task because his undertakings don't include a promise to keep regional offices open. Gyngell says it's just a draft and the undertaking will be in the next version.

11.33am Rob Oakeshott asks Gyngell about the enforceable undertakings and whether it should be extended to other free to air networks. Gyngell says it would be onerous to ask the others. He says it's just what he would do.

11.29am Gyngell says that the enforceable undertakings he is willing to commit to would go further than what Win and Prime etc are delivering.

11.28am Barnaby Joyce asks Gyngell if he will commit to preserving regional newsrooms and staff. He says he will, but adds you're all getting hung up on efficiencies and that for him it's not about efficiencies it's about capturing value.

11.25am Malcolm Turnbull asks him where the efficiencies are in a merger if he maintains local news content? Gyngell says "gone are the days when you can just put on US content . . . local news rate highly . . . it makes you the programme schedule to make money . . . the Time Warners and the Disneys are coming and you need to be able to capture that value."

11.24am He's cut short because of the time constraints. He says that he would never advocate having the rule removed if there was any doubt that regional news would be removed. "It's good commercial sense to have local news".

11.21am Gyngell is reading a prepared statement: it's powerful stuff for the abolition of the 75% rule.

11.20am: Here comes David Gyngell

11.13am The general mood of the committee appears to be one of frustration at the pace of process for such significant reforms. All the bosses have railed against the timeframes and the non-Labour senators are equally frustrated. You'd have to say it's not looking too good for the reforms.

11.05am A lot of questions have been asked of the individual media bosses and their membership to FreeTV when they have all signed on as members of that organisation yet have distanced themselves from the submission it made last year supporting a lifting of the 75% reach rule.

10.58am Investors appear to believe that McLennan has done his job of convincing the committee not to allow the 75% rule to be lifted as Southern Cross Media shares are dropping in early trade today, down 2.5% to 1.75. Last week they broke through $1.70, when Turnbull indicated he thought lifting the 75% rule made a lot of sense.

10.52am And that's it for Channel Ten. Next up is the Communications Law Centre.

10.49am Turnbull asks McLennan if he would support a change to the reach rule if provisions for regional content protection were in place? McLennan avoids the question and goes back to the standard line that the 75% reach rule cannot be passed in isolation.

10.46: Shadow Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull asks McLennan to walk the committee through the implications of a merger between Nine and Southern Cross. He is clearly trying to paint Channel Ten as acting purely out of self interest.

10.44am Barnaby Joyce asks McLennan whether the reach rules are keeping regional offices open and regional journalists employed? McLennan says he has "no doubt this is the case".

10.40am Doug Cameron takes exception to McLennan's line arguing that the regional players (Win, Prime etc) are in favour of the 75% reach rule.

10.37am McLennan continues to say that in his eyes the merger between Nine and Southern Cross Media is a fait accompli if the 75% rule is relaxed and is begging the committee to not allow it to happen in such a "rushed manner".

10.35am McLennan says that he intends to make "further commitments to news (as in reporting, not Murdoch) in its future programming.

10.34 McLennan points to News Limited's previous statement that it has no interest in Ten. He also suggests the inquiry might be better placed asking Kim William's questions regarding News Limited.

10.30: McLennan is asked about the Murdoch family's influence over him and the potential of News Limited to take over Channel Ten. He sticks to the well trodden path that there is no Murdoch control of Network Ten

10.20am Hamish McLennan warns that looking a the 75% rule independently will allow changes to go ahead that cannot be unwound if the rest of the package were to be passed.

 

was not in the public interest.

10.16am Network Ten's new boss Hamish McLennan, on his first day in the new job, said that if the reach rule was pulled away the merger between Southern Cross Media and Nine Entertainment Co would "go ahead very quickly", and that he was "very, very concerned" of the reach rule being singled out in the Bill.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Instagram Launches Long-Form Video; Directly Competing With Parent YouTube
  • Technology

Instagram Launches Long-Form Video; Directly Competing With Parent YouTube

Instagram is launching long-form video, likely to pique the interest of advertisers who are currently limited to minute-long spots on the platform. The launch was announced by Instagram CEO and co-founder Kevin Systrom during an event in San Francisco. Called ‘IGTV’, Instagram debuted the ‘new app’ for ” watching long-form, vertical video from your favorite Instagram creators, like LaurDIY posting her […]

Ridley Scott Unveils New Directors Showcase At Cannes
  • Media

Ridley Scott Unveils New Directors Showcase At Cannes

Curated this year by Ridley Scott, famed director of Alien, The Martian and other classics, The New Directors Showcase at Cannes is now in its 28th year. Acting as a platform for talented new directors to have their work premiered to a global audience, Scott took to the stage in front of a full house […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
ANZ, PHD & JCDecaux Harness The Power Of Data
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

ANZ, PHD & JCDecaux Harness The Power Of Data

ANZ and media agency PHD have partnered with JCDecaux to launch a unique campaign that harnesses the power of data across three cities incorporating actual tram, train and bus timetable information to align with the new ANZ App.

Report: Consumers Are Hitting Play On Mobile Video
  • Technology

Report: Consumers Are Hitting Play On Mobile Video

Ooyala survey finds media companies created and processed nearly three times as much video content in Q1 as Media Companies Created & Processed Nearly Three Times As Much Video Content in Q1 2018 vs. Q1 2017.

Intrepid Travel Go Back 30 Years, Posting Classified Adverts In Newspapers
  • Campaigns

Intrepid Travel Go Back 30 Years, Posting Classified Adverts In Newspapers

Intrepid Travel has gone back in time and is placing classified adverts for a new ‘mystery expedition’ to places that yet mapped by Google.  The adverts to be placed in Courier Mail, Herald Sun and Sunday Telegraph are calling for intrepid people to join a journey with “long travel days, intermittent electricity, no Wi-Fi, cold […]

Watching tv and using remote control
  • Advertising
  • Media

GroupM Investment Forecast For Australia: TV On The Rise As Digital Slips

GroupM has updated its 2018 ad investment forecasts and released its initial 2019 outlook. GroupM predicts $24B in net new advertising investment this year, the best annual increment since the bounce back from the global recession in 2010 when $26B was added to investment. GroupM estimates total advertising investment will grow by 4.5 per cent this year […]

Indigenous Campaign Deemed Too Controversial By APN Media To Run
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Indigenous Campaign Deemed Too Controversial By APN Media To Run

Aboriginal Victoria’s campaign in support of Australia’s first-ever treaty legislation, Deadly Questions, has been deemed too controversial to run by one of Australia’s leading outdoor media providers, APN Media. Online platform Deadly Questions provides a safe space for people to ask questions and have them answered by Aboriginal Victorians, to learn more about their cultures, […]

Introducing: YouTube Music Australia
  • Technology

Introducing: YouTube Music Australia

The wait is over! Starting today, YouTube Music is available to everyone in Australia, New Zealand, the U.S, Mexico and South Korea in addition to 12 new countries including Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Now fans around the world can find more of the music […]

Will PR Finally Earn Its Stripes At Cannes This Year?
  • Opinion

Will PR Finally Earn Its Stripes At Cannes This Year?

In this guest post, Haystac’s national general manager, Jason Carnew (pictured below), says with all this talk of Cannes at this time of year, it’s a kindly reminder that the PR business needs to get its act together in terms of awards, work and judging… All eyes on are Cannes as some of the best […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Ex-DDBer Unveils Designer Headscarves For Cancer Survivors
  • Campaigns

Ex-DDBer Unveils Designer Headscarves For Cancer Survivors

Two-times cancer survivor, Frankie Good Stuff Award Winner, ex-DDBer and founder of Bravery Co. Emily Somers has collaborated with a range of top-notch illustrators to produce Australia’s first range of designer headscarves for young cancer warriors. She is now crowdfunding $40,000 to produce the scarves and donate one to all the young women in their 20’s […]

New Advertising Platform Launches Down Under
  • Advertising

New Advertising Platform Launches Down Under

Following its massive success in Europe, Asia and the UAE, the Polishoe concept, which brings a high-demand shoe polish service and HD digital advertising platform together, has landed in Australia.

Women In Media Profile: Aimee Buchanan
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Aimee Buchanan

No Women in Media series would be complete without the irrepressible Aimee Buchanan. Read all her pressibles here.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Set for blue sky, different clouds icons, cloud shapes, labels, symbols, icons. Flat graphic vector elements
  • Technology

PubMatic Unveils Cloud for Publishers And Tech Companies

PubMatic has launched PubMatic Cloud for publishers and tech companies looking to implement and control their own programmatic technology. By accessing PubMatic’s technology, global infrastructure and demand connections on a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) basis, clients are able to achieve full transparency and achieve greater control over their programmatic monetization. As programmatic trading becomes mainstream, innovations such as […]

Women In Media Profile: Claudine Hall
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Claudine Hall

The Women in Media Awards are back for 2018! To celebrate this wonderful fact, and to recognise some of the killer women in our industry, we’ve created a women in media series – and have profiled some pretty inspiring women so far. This week, we chat with Bauer Media head of trade marketing Claudine Hall. […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Cancer Council and Target Tradies Tackle On-The-Job Skin Cancer Risks
  • Campaigns

Cancer Council and Target Tradies Tackle On-The-Job Skin Cancer Risks

Workers on construction sites receive five to 10 times more UV exposure every year compared to indoor workers. Target Tradies and Cancer Council have announced the launch of a partnership to help educate Australian construction workers about the importance of being SunSmart at work. With evidence showing that outdoor workers receive five to 10 times […]